KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Many Americans Don’t Know If ACA Is Law Of Land Or Not, Adding Challenges To Enrollment Season

There's a lot of confusion about where the Affordable Care Act stands after Republicans tried all year to repeal it and President Donald Trump talks about its imminent death. So getting people to sign up for coverage, or even know they can, is going to be a struggle this year.

Reuters: Obamacare Sign-Up Challenge: Proving The Law Is Not Dead
More than two thousand miles away from the healthcare debate in Washington, President Donald Trump's threats to let Obamacare collapse are sowing confusion about its fate and dampening 2018 enrollment expectations. The uncertainty here in Arizona, echoed in interviews across the country, shows that even though they have not been able to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, the Republican effort to undermine it is gaining traction. (Gershberg and Tobin, 10/4)

The Hill: ObamaCare Groups: If Trump Won’t, We Will 
Advocacy groups that support the Affordable Care Act are taking matters into their own hands. With the Trump administration cutting back on advertising and outreach, outside groups are mobilizing for a massive, nationwide campaign for the next ObamaCare enrollment period. They say it’s up to them to get the word out. (Hellmann, 10/5)

In other health law news —

Politico Pro: Alexander, Murray Struggle With State Flexibility In Obamacare Deal
Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are still trying agree on how states can alter insurance market rules, which was always expected to be the most controversial element of the deal. Republicans are insisting on giving states “meaningful flexibility” on some of the health law’s requirements in exchange for funding Obamacare’s cost-sharing program for two years. (Haberkorn, 10/4)

Los Angeles Times: Two Measures To Boost Obamacare In California Signed Into Law By Gov. Jerry Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two measures Wednesday to help Californians who buy health insurance under Covered California, the state's Obamacare marketplace. The measures ensure a longer enrollment period and continued treatment for some patients even if their insurer leaves Covered California. The first measure, AB 156 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), was spurred by a Trump administration policy that established a 45-day window for shoppers on Obamacare marketplaces to buy new insurance policies for the coming year. (Mason, 10/4)

Georgia Health News: Study: ACA May Be Factor In Improved HPV Vaccination Rates
Because multiple doses of the vaccine are needed, and they can be up to $200 a pop, HPV vaccination rates have traditionally been lower than other recommended vaccinations. But the ACA’s prevention and wellness mandates may have changed that, says study author Rosemary Corriero, MPH and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow in the CDC’s Immunization Service Division. (Hensley, 10/4)

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